Images as documents for the history of science: some remarks concerning classification

Maria Helena Roxo Beltran, Vera Cecilia Machline


Studies on history of science are increasingly emphasizing the important role that, since ancient times, images have had in the processes of shaping concepts, as well as registering and transmitting knowledge about nature and the arts. In the past years, we have developed at Center Simão Mathias of Studies on the History of Science (CESIMA) inquiries devoted to the analysis of images as forms of registering and transmitting knowledge about nature and the arts – that is to say, as documents pertaining to the history of science. These inquiries are grounded on the assumption that all images derive from the interaction between the artistic technique used in their manufacture and the concept intended to be expressed by them. This study enabled us to analyze distinct roles that images have had in different fields of knowledge at various ages. Some of the results obtained so far are summarized in the present article.


History of science, Images, Recording knowledge, Classification

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